The dark web is often a taboo, yet infamous subject, especially when it comes to identity theft and illegal activities. It lives up to its name, “dark web” by becoming a playground for criminals, thieves, and individuals, looking to score high-value items for a fraction of the cost.
But what is the dark web, and how do you get there? And besides using a website like CheckPeople.com, how do we prevent our information from being purchased?
What is the Dark Web?
The dark web is an area that isn’t accessed by regular websites. It uses something called The Onion Router as a hidden service protocol. Any of the “Tor” servers are virtually undetectable from search engines and provide users with complete anonymity while surfing the web.
Special encryptions provided by this protocol ensure that anyone posting as a website publisher remains anonymous.
Accessing the dark web doesn’t happen through the servers and platforms you’re used to interacting with, as the content isn’t indexed by regular search engines. It stays internal through the Tor network, offering both privacy and security to anyone on the server.
Many of the domains hosted through the dark web end in .onion, as opposed to the standard .edu, .gov, or .com domains.
What’s on the Dark Web?
One of the largest perks of the dark web is the degree of anonymity. It isn’t all illegal content on the server, with some platforms catering to the professional crowd. Finding a book club, chess club, social networking platforms, and games can easily be accessed for those hoping to find a new network.
Unfortunately, the dark web isn’t known for it’s harmless and professional activities. It’s known for its dark content. Activities that are often illegal and disturbing, with a high degree of criminal activity. Content ranges from stolen information, illicit substances, and disturbing or dangerous items, and services can all be found in excess.
How are Transactions Done on the Dark Web?
To try and uphold anonymity, users perform all financial transactions with a cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. The use of cryptocurrency provides an extra cloak of remaining anonymous and prevents any activities or purchases from being connected with the user.
Is the Dark Web Safe?
The answer to safety depends exclusively on the intended purpose of the dark web. If a user is hoping to find new but legitimate content, the dark web can be a new, exciting area to explore. Be warned, however, that the dark web is also a host of dark elements often exceeding your intended browsing purposes.
Criminal elements are common on the dark web, with many websites being hosted by criminals. These individuals are not always there to safeguard their visitors, instead of preying on them. They may steal from you, or exploit you, depending on the website.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that anything you do on the dark web can be prosecuted. Illegal activities such as drug purchasing, identity theft, or worse can be traced back to your identity. It’s always crucial to act legally and appropriately online – whether normal platforms or the dark web.
Law enforcement agents operate on the dark web along with criminals. They use the platform to identify and trace any people engaged in criminal activity. Thanks to anonymity, law officials can work under the disguise of anonymity.
Inappropriate and Suspicious Links
Links may be cloaked or disguised on the server, depending on where you’re looking. Be warned that any links you click may take you to material that is graphic and disturbing. It may also download malware or viruses onto your computer, meaning your computer could become a costly expense down the road for repairs.
So why does Dark Web Exist?
Many users argue that the illegal and criminal activity of the server should be cause for a complete and total shut down, which makes sense from an outside perspective. For others, the degree of privacy and anonymity is a major benefit to the platform.
Traditional websites and servers often collect personal and identifying information, leaving privacy as a major concern. Freedom of speech is also an issue for users on the dark web. Many argue that removing the dark web would be a violation of the First Amendment. In other words, the privacy, ability to offer anonymity, and free speech are a major influence in their visiting the server.
Staying safe online
One of the easiest ways to prevent your information from appearing on the dark web is through prevention. Always make sure that any website you access is genuine and encrypted before purchases. Never give out personal information online or over the phone.